TCJ Talkies TCJ Talkies

Tom Kaczynski

Tom Kaczynski is my guest in the TCJ Talkie Hutt this week. Tom is well known for the excellent run of short stories he created for the MOME anthology, while that was still a going concern. I hear he has a story in issue 22, which I’ve yet to see, so I am looking forward to that. Tom’s comics have also appeared in The Drama and The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2009.

I had a lot of fun with this chat, but I may have broken a few cardinal rules of interviewing people with this one. 1) I kind of glossed over a lot of the biographical background and Tom's early interest in comics, though I did my best to get back to it later on in the conversation. I think I was just too excited to talk about communism, so I kind of dived right on into it. And 2) I referred quite heavily to pages and quotes from Tom’s minicomics, “The Trans Series”. These comics are fascinating reads, full of any number of interesting ideas, each of which could lead to a conversation or a debate. But, unfortunately, as is the nature of minicomics, this stuff isn’t widely available in stores (though they can be purchased online here). So, I worry there may be many listeners who aren’t intimately familiar with the work.

If it’s some small consolation, I clipped a couple of jpegs from the minis, which you can see below. These are some of the pages we talk about in the conversation. I do urge everyone to pick them up if they can, or hold out for a collected edition, which I am sure is somewhere along the pipeline.

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4 Responses to Tom Kaczynski

  1. Frank Santoro says:

    This is a great one.

  2. Jeet Heer says:

    A fascinating interview. One small amendment: Kaczynski quotes Slavoj Zizek as saying “it is much easier for us to imagine the end of the world than a small change in the political system.” Zizek did say that but his remarks were largely a riff on Fredric Jameson’s earlier (and more pungent) remark that it is easier for us to imagine the end of the world than the end of capitalism (Jameson’s original formulation, before it got whittled down in popular memory was: “It seems easier for us today to imagine the thoroughgoing deterioration of the earth and of nature than the breakdown of late capitalism.”)

  3. Mike Dawson says:

    Thanks Frank, I’m glad you liked this one. I knew Tom K. would be great to talk to.

    That’s really interesting Jeet. I think it’s true. I can’t really imagine Capitalism going away, but I can see us all dying in wave after wave of environmental catastrophes. I wish it was the other way around, even though I don’t mind capitalism.

  4. Uland says:

    “It’s easier to imagine one thing everybody imagines is responsible for everything that is horrible than the one we were forced to read about in college”

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